The worker-organized “Pharmageddon” walkouts across the country in 2023 established pharmacy professionals as a powerful movement, intent on transforming our industry and saving our profession. Harnessing the momentum of the moment, pharmacy worker-activists and leaders partnered with IAM Healthcare to create a union for America’s pharmacy professionals, The Pharmacy Guild. Our message is simple: we put patient care over corporate profits, and aim to ensure dignity and justice for all pharmacy professionals.
Pharmacy professionals – including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, interns, and residents – coming together to use our collective voice, in our own union, is the most effective way to achieve the lasting changes we need to ensure the future of our profession and safety of our patients. We are organizing for improved patient care outcomes by addressing systemically unsafe staffing standards; fighting for a voice at work and collective bargaining rights; and building a legislative and regulatory plan that would protect our patients and advance our standards of professional practice. We are a voice for patient safety, and for pharmacy professionals – our demands reflect this.
Great News! Pharmacy Guild Will Be Building Power at APhA 2024 in Orlando
The Pharmacy Guild is thrilled to attend the American Pharmacists Association’s Conference in Orlando, Florida from March 22nd to March 25th of this year. This meeting presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges pharmacy professionals face and why we’re organizing together for the well-being of our patients and profession nationwide. We can’t wait to bring new faces into the fold and continue spreading our message of safe staffing levels, union representation, and legislative advocacy for our patients and profession.
If you’ll be there, please visit us at Booth #125 any day of the APhA 2024 event! Already planning to go? Let us know at [email protected] if you want to get updates and alerts from us during the event.
Last Chance to Fill Out the 2024 Priorities Survey: Pharmacy Professionals Call for Change
We want to hear from you! Click here to join pharmacy professionals nationwide in sharing your perspective on the changes we need most in our industry. So far, hundreds of pharmacy professionals have spoken up about issues ranging from wages and benefits to staffing and time-off policies, a testament to how passionate we are about improving the circumstances of our work. It’s not too late to have your voice heard! Please, spend a few minutes filling out this confidential survey now and have a say in the future that we’re fighting for. Survey data will be shared in aggregate and individual responses will never be used without your permission.
Survey data collected by The Pharmacy Guild reflects frustration among pharmacy professionals – as well as a strong ambition to fight for changes. Of the issues most important to pharmacy professionals, unsafe staffing levels and overly long shifts stand out as chief concerns. Pharmacists wrote, “We need pharmacist overlap. It is not safe to fill over 400 RX’s per day as a solo pharmacist,” and “No more 12/14 hour shifts.” Pharmacy professionals are trying our best to provide safe care to our patients, but we are confronted by risky situations.
When we’ve raised these concerns to corporate in the past, they have failed to make changes. The change we need is systemic. Now, we’re taking matters into our own hands and organizing our own union. The numbers back us up – we know that safe staffing saves lives. Our patients can’t afford for us to not have a voice at work.
If you have already completed the survey, make sure your colleagues have a chance to weigh in! Share this survey with 5 pharmacy professionals you know, and keep spreading the word.
Founding Pharmacy Guild Leaders Recognized for Outstanding Advocacy
We are excited to announce that two pioneering leaders from The Pharmacy Guild have been honored in the 50 Most Influential Leaders in Pharmacy Awards for their significant contributions to the pharmacy industry. Dr. Shane Jerominski is a seasoned pharmacist based in California with 16 years of experience in both retail and hospital settings, and one of the founding leaders in our movement. Dr. Jerominski, known for his impactful online presence as The Accidental Pharmacist, has played a pivotal role in launching The Pharmacy Guild, and building an industry that is more fair for patients and pharmacy professionals alike.
Dr. Bled Tanoe, a talented pharmacist hailing from Oklahoma and the visionary behind the pro-reform #PizzaIsNotWorking social media campaign, was also celebrated in the awards. Her campaign, initiated in 2021, boldly addresses poor working conditions in major pharmacy chains like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and others. Dr. Tanoe’s efforts have not only instigated positive changes within states but have also garnered international attention, featured in media outlets across the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Join us in applauding Dr. Shane Jerominski and Dr. Bled Tanoe for this well-deserved recognition of their contributions as influential voices and top leaders shaping the future of pharmacy. We’re proud to have them fighting to reshape our industry with the Pharmacy Guild!
How the Power of a Union Can Transform Our Industry
A union is an organized association of workers that bargains with an employer for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The power of a union rests on the premise that there is strength in numbers – we are harder to ignore when we unite to advocate for our shared goals. Collective bargaining has allowed healthcare professionals in many states to successfully secure safer staffing levels – and therefore, improved patient outcomes – in their union contracts.
Unions raise “floor” pay, benefits, and working conditions for all employees, meaning that all elements of our working experience improve. Not only are union healthcare professionals paid significantly more than their non-union counterparts, they are also more likely to have higher quality, affordable health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and other benefits. Additionally, unions often provide benefits to members such as professional development courses, leading to higher standards of practice among union workers.
The Pharmacy Industry is Profiting, But It’s Only Going to the Top
In the past two decades, the pharmacy industry has grown rapidly, generating billions of dollars per year and granting top executives at big pharmacy chains millions in annual compensation. Yet pharmacy professionals – the backbone of the business – endure insufficient wages and unsafe staffing levels that jeopardize our ability to ensure patient safety or avoid delays in care. It’s time our industry stop prioritizing profits over patient outcomes.
In 2022, CVS paid their CEO Karen Lynch $21,317,055, or 380 times the median CVS employee’s compensation that same year. We work extreme shift hours, frequently are subject to verbal abuse and threats at work, and endure dangerously high workloads while our patients stress about paying for the medications they rely on. Meanwhile, big pharmacy corporations have the means to provide relief and choose not to. The Pharmacy Guild is helping pharmacy professionals all over the country unionize so that we can bargain for staffing levels that put patients before billionaires.
How to Organize Your Workplace
Organizing a union starts with you! Here are the four steps to forming a union:
- Contact The Pharmacy Guild to Make Your Plan: Get in touch with a professional union organizer from The Pharmacy Guild by emailing us at [email protected]. Your organizer will help you make a plan to unionize your workplace. It is critical to have a plan in place before discussing this with coworkers or taking further action.
- Talk to Your Coworkers: Once you and your union organizer agree on a plan of action, start reaching out to coworkers you trust to ask them to sign a Union Authorization Card. If there is anyone you don’t know as well or don’t feel comfortable reaching out to, inform your union organizer and they will help you figure out the best approach.
- File for Your Union Election: When a majority of coworkers at your pharmacy fill out a Union Authorization Card, professional union staff will file a representation petition, along with your showing of support, with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Your employer will NOT be informed that you signed a card.
- Vote YES to Unionize and Win Your Election: The NLRB will schedule and run an election in which you and your coworkers have the right to vote for union representation with The Pharmacy Guild. When a majority votes YES, you will be unionized and you can start negotiating your first union contract with support from The Pharmacy Guild.